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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Accepting, Letting Go and Having Faith

Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.

I saw this last night and it kind of sparked something in me.  I have always (and I mean always) held on to things that happened in the past and dwelled on them.  I never had anything else to focus on so it was easy for me to just sit and always think about all the bad things that had happened.  I struggled to find many positive things in my life.  Yes, I love what I do for a job and seeing kids pursue their dreams is a wonderful feeling. 

However, I really struggled to find anything positive in my personal life.  All around me my friends were getting married, having kids and enjoying life.  My friends and family are awesome but I often felt left out of a lot of things because I was in a different place in my life.  I just didn't have a clue where I was or where I was going.  I didn't feel like I had much to offer friendships and other relationships.  I know that is a huge part of where I found myself in January.  At times, I've been referred to as "rainman" because I have a crazy accurate, detailed memory of most of my life.  My family jokes that if you want to know what happened 20 years ago, just ask Amanda.  I think that memory can be a blessing and a curse.  It's allowed me to write this blog :)  But, it also caused me to think about things that don't even matter anymore.  I just chose to dwell on them because I could.  If I was going to make a better life for myself, I had to figure out how to let go of all of these negative things in my life.

All along, I've said this whole journey has been about so much more than weight loss.  I said back in my first entry, I had no idea how much that January meeting with Renee' would change my life.  During that meeting, although we talked some about weight loss, looking back on it (and trusting my memory), I realize that was actually a very small part of our conversation.  She got me to talk about myself, some of my strengths and weaknesses, my interests, etc.  I think since I was talking about myself, it was a little easier for me to talk to her.  After all, I have a psychology degree.  Leave it to me to analyze everything about myself!  

We also talked about different ways I could meet new people.  Now, I'll be honest, this scared the crap out of me and I knew it was something I wouldn't do right away.  Way too far out of my comfort zone.  But, it was something I was willing to look into and eventually try.  I still remember something Renee' said to me in an email the day after I met her - "Your heart is your best asset".  I've always thought I'm a pretty nice person.  I like to see the best in people (probably why I've been taken advantage of throughout my life) and I always want to help others.  I almost always put myself last.  I didn't realize it at the time, but I think she was trying to get me to figure out ways I could put myself first.  If I don't like myself, how am I going to be any good to anyone else?  

She also knew right away how important my nieces and nephew are to me.  And she helped me see (in time) that if I wanted to be the best aunt I could, I had to be healthy, happy and enjoying life both when I am around them and when I am on my own.  Much as I love my family (and they are a huge part of my life), I have to find other ways to put myself out there.  To anyone who knows me fairly well, you know this is not easy for me.  I really clam up in social situations where I don't know anyone.  As the months have gone on, I've developed more and more self-confidence.  I still don't say much in situations where I don't know anyone but, at least I've made myself go to different places and meet different people.  That's a huge step for me.  Accepting what is for me is knowing that I am okay the way I am.  And that I am a great person with a lot to offer the world.  I don't have to change who I am to make people like me.  I just have to find ways that work for me to meet new people and have great experiences.  

Having faith in what will be has been difficult for me over the years.  For a long time, I haven't felt like I had anything to look forward to.  I mean, here I am, 33, single, no kids, etc.  But, know what?  Being single and not having kids doesn't make me a strange person.  It just makes me who I am and, finally, I am okay with that.  In fact, I am more than okay with it.  I love who I am.  I hope that someday I will meet someone to share my life with but, I have faith that things will happen the way they are supposed to and when they are supposed to occur.  I never had that kind of faith before.  Let me tell you, it feels amazing to finally "get it".  I think I've always had a little faith in the future but, now, I have so much more than I ever thought I could.

I know I still have a long ways to go but when I look back and see how far I've come in the last (almost) 9 months, I feel a sense of pride in myself and am indescribably thankful to Renee' for pulling all of this out of me.  I guess it was always there.  I just needed someone to figure out how to show me it was there and pull it out of me.  I never thought that could happen.  Surprises come when you're least expecting them.  And so do friendships.  I feel so blessed and lucky with my life and all the people in it.  

I'm excited to continue sharing my journey as I keep figuring all of this out :)